The church of St James was built in the mid 13th century. The medieval red sandstone tower, reputed to have once formed part of the town’s defences, survives. The nave was rebuilt in 1821, on an octagonal plan. It was re-ordered in the later 19th century and restored after being damaged during WWII.

Most of the graffiti in the church is found on the 19th century pews and panelling in the organ gallery. Amongst these are several images of boats or ships and a number of compass made circles. Such circles are often associated with an apotropaic (protective) significance. In this late context, however, and in conjunction with so many names and initials, it is possible that some at least are simply the result of idle doodling, but we cannot be certain.

There are a few earlier marks on the medieval tower ladder, including a possible cross, probable initials, and two distinct V type marks.

Teignmouth, St James